Baby Steps For a Back to Africa Movement
Going back to Africa doesn’t always involve a physical move. As has been mentioned before, it’s all about one’s mindset being finely attuned to Africa and aligning ourselves with the continent even while living in our country of birth. With this in mind, let’s explore a few important matters that must take place in order to help us navigate that process.
1. Shed the Slave Master’s Last Name
We’ve covered this one in detail on another blog post. James Baldwin said it best when he said:
Most blacks who descended from enslaved Africans still carry the last name of the white man who abused and oppressed that ancestor years ago. While you may not know your true surname, we do know that we are no longer “Baldwin’s Nigger”, so that has to go. In our previous post we offered ideas on selecting a West African surname, which is what we all should do in the process of further developing a back to Africa mindset.
2. Exercise Your Right to Gun Ownership
I personally hate guns. They scare me and I prefer not to be around them. Unless I need to defend myself. In that case, I want my own and I want to know how to properly use it. Unfortunately, we live in a country where being unarmed “as a people” suggests to others that we are easy targets. It’s time to put this notion to rest by exercising our second amendment right to legal gun ownership.
3. Invest in Africa
Everyone is doing it. That is, everyone BUT US. Africa is literally the richest continent on the planet, yet many native Africans remain among the poorest. Entire countries are in debt to foreign lenders and Africa is the first country thought of when we speak of starving children in need of charity. This is all so backwards… especially when you consider that Africa gives the world an average of $192 billion dollars in resources every year and receives $134 billion dollars in loans and charitable giving. Let me help you out with the math here and point out that that is a $59 billion dollar difference! Africa doesn’t need charity. Africa needs the entire diaspora to invest in its infrastructure, protect it from looters and help it develop into its own greatness. (Don’t Miss: How To Go Back To Africa By Investing In It)
4. All Eyes on Ghana
In our post on 13 reasons black people should go back to Africa, we placed a heavy emphasis on Ghana. That’s because Ghana is one of the few countries in Africa that has made a deliberate effort to beckon the diaspora home. Through their Right of Abode program, we are able to freely travel back and forth to Ghana without requiring governmental permission each time. We are also able to own land, build and live in the country for as long as we like under this program. When we talk about going back to Africa, Ghana is a great place to start since it is one of the safest and most stable countries in all of Africa with a fast-growing infrastructure. The Right of Abode program offers us the next best thing to dual-citizenship!
5. Support African Emigration
On the surface, this may seem a bit counterintuitive to our movement, but it is not. Yes, we want to call Africa home (or rely on it as a second home), but many Africans also want to come to our various countries of birth to take advantage of business and educational opportunities. In the U.S., there’s been much debate about immigration and most of it has centered around non-African populations wanting to emigrate to this country. As black people, many of us have tuned this out or, at the very least, felt it doesn’t apply to us, but it does! First, by standing up for Africans who want to come to this country, we are showing signs of solidarity with our African sisters and brothers. For too long we’ve been separated by lies and misconceptions about each other when we need to be unifying and supporting one another. And, second, welcoming continental Africans into this country helps to increase our numbers here. We forget sometimes that we are a mere 12% of the population in the U.S. and that we are a mere 3% of the population in the UK! Even though our plan is all about going back to Africa, we will remain citizens of our respective birth countries and having an increased presence helps.
6. Learn to Speak Twi/Akan
When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, black people used to talk about learning Swahili. This is great and we should all still do it. However, Swahili is a language commonly spoken in East Africa. At the time that our ancestors were abducted and forcefully taken from West Africa, many of them spoke languages more common to that region. Today, one of the more common languages in that area is Twi (also known as Akan). Having a common language that we can speak to one another, as well as one we can use to communicate with many of our W. African sisters and brothers is a giant step toward building our continental pride and our relationship with Africa, in general.
B(l)ack to Africa Starts Here
Of course, this is not a comprehensive list of things that black people need to do in order to unify and improve our status in the world, it is just “part of a start”. Yes, we must continue to support black-owned businesses, protect and empower our communities and make sure that black lives matter everywhere– all day every day! By also adopting this small list of imperatives, though, we send a strong message to the rest of the world and, in particular, to the systems that have been used to oppress us in our birth countries. These imperatives tell the world that we are ready to step into our power… united and strong… and that this generation’s back to Africa movement has officially begun!
Thoughts, Questions or Corrections?
What do you think of these imperatives as they relate to a back to Africa mindset? And what would you add to (or take away from) this list? Would you like to expand upon or dispute something you’ve just read? The floor is now yours, so let us know what’s on your mind by leaving a comment below.